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ASEAN marks 50th year of its foundation
September 30, 2017, 4:04 pm
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To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a reception was hosted by the nine ambassadors in Kuwait of ASEAN member countries on 27 September at the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel. The ambassadors hosting the event were: the 2017 Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Kuwait (ACK), Ambassador of Philippines H.E. Renato P. O. Villa; Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam H.E. P.A.A. Aliuddin; Ambassador of Kingdom of Cambodia H.E. Tan Bunpa; Ambassador of Indonesia H.E. Tatang Budie Utama Razak, Ambassador of Lao People's Democratic Republic H.E. Phouangkeo Langsy; Ambassador of Malaysia H.E. Dato Ahmad Rozian Abd. Ghani; Ambassador of Myanmar H.E. Aye Khaing; Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand H.E. Dusit Manapan and the Ambassador of Vietnam H.E. Nguyen Hong Thao.

Members of the diplomatic community, other officials and dignitaries attended the event. The event commenced with the Kuwait National Anthem and theme of the ASEAN 2017 followed by a speech from the ASEAN 2017-2018 Chairman Philippine Ambassador Pedro Villa.

In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Villa highlighted the vital role of the ASEAN in the region and globally, saying, “The ASEAN inherently is influential globally, if ASEAN is a country it has extensive land area covering 4.3 square kilometers making it the 7th largest with 2.3 trillion gross domestic production in 2016, the 7th biggest consumer base in the world if it’s a country and with 625 million people making it the 3rd largest country after China and India.” Ambassador Villa further noted that Philippines as chair will highlight ASEAN as the model of a global player in the interest of its people. Philippines adapted the theme partnering for Change, Engaging the World, which captures and consolidates common goals for its peoples and forges a common identity as ASEAN.

The six thematic priorities include people oriented ASEAN, peace, stability in the region, maritime security and cooperation, ASEAN resiliency to capture challenges environmental degradation and calamities. ASEAN has followed its way of consensus building consultation and noninterference in its domestic affairs.

In an exclusive interview with The Times, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Khaled Suleiman Al Jarallah stated that the presence of ASEAN has always been considered as very important in the region and that Kuwait has established strong relations with them. “It is unfortunate that we have not visited some of the ASEAN countries and we hope that in the near future we can visit them to keep our ties stronger. Kuwait is grateful with the community of the ASEAN and we hope to receive more of their nationals in Kuwait,” said Minister Al Jarallah.

Among the highlights of the events were cultural presentations, mini exhibition booths, vocal renditions, fashion show and generous spread of delicacies from each of the ASEAN countries. Qatar Airways raffled two return tickets to any destinations among ASEAN countries and Indonesian Ambassador Tatang Budie Utama Razak generously offered two return tickets to Indonesia. The event ended with brief remarks from each Ambassador. “We hope to have more community events in the coming year and hope that not only Kuwait nationals visit the countries’ but other nationals discover and marvel how much we are blessed with great lands and peoples,” commented Ambassador Razak.

By Ricky Laxa
Staff Writer

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